3-5 Player Game Rules
The object of this game is to be the first player to get rid of all their tiles!
Before you start, make sure all the players know the basic rules to playing tiles:
Rule #1: Tiles must connect perfectly by the creature parts (color matching) only. Creature tiles will connect in a circular or oval-shaped fashion.
This also means you may not connect tiles by only the blue (water) sides. Also see example of creatures not matching perfectly.
Rule #2: Tile must be played in the same direction (vertically).
Rule #3: Tiles must connect vertically or horizontally only. You may not connect diagonally without having another connecting tile.
Playing the Game:
To start, shuffle all 85 tiles (face down) and shuffle all of the Octopus Action Cards.
Deal 8 tiles to each player. You can play between 3 and 5 players. Shown below is the setup for 4 players.
Place the tile pile and the stack of cards (draw pile) to the side , making room for the play area. Turn over one of the tiles from the tile pile to make the Start Tile. See below for example of the Start Tile in the middle of the play area.
It is recommended that each player holds their tiles in their hand so others can not see their tiles, or you could use a tile holder (like from the game Scrabble) to hold your tiles as well.
Let’s Play Already!
The youngest player goes first and turns proceed clockwise. Each player must play one of their tiles on the exposed “seascape”. To correctly play a tile, the tile must connect to the appropriate creature properly. The creature parts must line up when connected. Shown below is a correct play or a tile with part of an ‘orange peel slug’ with another part of an ‘orange peel slug’.
If you are unable to play, you must draw a tile from the tile pile and the turn proceeds to the next player. You may not play the drawn tile even if it is playable.
If you complete a creature on your turn, you get an extra bonus turn, which must be taken immediately. If you can’t play a tile on your bonus turn, you do not have to draw a new tile. Shown below are two completed creatures; the Yellow Submarine Slug and Orange Peel. The player that places the tile that completes the creature (circle or oval), receives the free bonus turn.
As the play proceeds the seascape will grow, opening up possible plays on other creature types. You can turn the tiles around to help make a play.
You may not move tiles once they are played (unless you have an Octopus Action card called “Magic Touch” that allows you to do so). See the Library of Action Cards for more details on the cards.
What’s the deal with Tiles with Octopus Icons and the Octopus Action Cards?
If you correctly play a tile with an Octopus Icon on it, you get to draw one of the Octopus Action Cards. Each of these cards has a power that can help you in the game, or cause you to draw more tiles (see Stinky Inky card).
In the example below, the player draws the ‘Throw Octopus‘ card. This card will either allow you to select any player or select the next player (check card). Then you get to throw the Octopus Plushie at this player, and (if you hit them with the Octopus plushie*) they have to draw 2 tiles from the tile pile, and they lose their next turn. If you miss, they do not have to draw 2 new tiles nor lose their next turn. The only exception is if the other player has an ‘Octo Shield‘ card exposed, then they are immune to the power of the Throw Octopus for one use only.
* when throwing the plushie, you must be at least 2 feet away from your target to allow them space to dodge your throw. If you miss hitting them, they do not have to draw 2 new tiles, nor lose their next turn. Players must stay in the same room (no hiding outside or in another room), and the plushie must be thrown within 30 seconds to ensure the game play continues at a reasonable pace.
After playing or using a card, please discard it (form a discard pile) or place on the bottom of the deck. Once all the cards have been discarded, reshuffle and start a new Draw Pile.
For more information on the powers of each card type, see the the Octopus Action Card Library.
Don’t Do This! The Improper or Not Valid Tile Plays …
Below are examples of improper or not valid plays. On the top; The orange peel creature does not connect perfectly, even though parts are touching. The connection needs to fit naturally (perfectly). On the bottom; You may not play tiles horizontally on a vertical tile even though the creature connects. All tiles must be played in same direction.
Here’s another example of an improper play — the two tiles in the lower right corner do not fit together because the ‘Blue Slug’ does not fit with the tile to the left perfectly.
You may not connect tiles simply by connecting the blue ocean side of the tiles.
When the Tile Pile is Empty:
If you run out of tiles in the Tile Pile, continue to play the game yet disregard any actions that would have you draw more tiles (obviously). Simply proceed to the next player without drawing any tiles until someone wins the game.
The first player to get rid of all their tiles, wins the game!
If all the tiles in the Tile Pile have been picked up or played, and no player can make a turn then the player with the fewest tiles is the winner. If still tied, then the youngest player is the winner.
Play one round, or play “Game Night”. For the ‘Game Night” version, play 3 games. After each game, count and keep track of how many tiles you have left in your hand. Each tile is worth 1 point. After 3 games, the player with the lowest point total is the winner.
Other Rules: Locked Game Scenario
If while playing the game, and all the creatures are completed, meaning there is no more possible plays (locked game), and there are still more tiles in the Tile Pile, then you must reset the tiles. Each player keeps all the tiles in their hand. Turn over all the played tiles in the “Seascape’ and add them to the Tile Pile, reshuffle all the tiles. Then start the game over, turn over one new tile to form the Starting Tile. Play proceeds with the person’s turn who first discovered the locked game. Note; after about 50 game tests this scenario has never happened but everyone thinks it might happen so we came up with a rule just in case this super rare situation happens.